Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Liffey Quays by motorbike

Here's a slightly unusual motorcyclist's-eye-view of Dublin. It's a journey along the Liffey quays to Stoneybatter and Grangegorman, and concentrates on the day-to-day problem of getting through the traffic rather than leisurely sightseeing.

Such is the traffic congestion at the beginning of the journey that you'd think the best getaway vehicle in crime fiction nowadays - at least in a crime novel set in Dublin - would have to be (a) a Honda CBF1000, (b) a taxi, (c) a bicycle, (d) a bus or (e) even on foot. Anything but a traditional getaway car.

The Talbot Memorial Bridge

The video journey starts (eventually) on the northside end of the Talbot Memorial Bridge. It crosses the Liffey from Custom House Quay and Memorial Road to City Quay and Moss Street on the southside.

The Liffey has seen so many new bridges in recent years - the latest is the Rosie Hackett Bridge, opened in May this year - that it's worth bearing in mind that the Talbot was the first new bridge over the river in a very long time, 46 years.

So a new bridge was a real rarity at the time that work began on it in June 1976. It was the talk of the town, as  it was the first time that  most Dubliners had seen a bridge being built. By the time it was officially opened two years later it was the most easterly of the Liffey bridges.

More videos

The same biker and videographer Stuart Kenny has a YouTube account with more of his splendid videos of journeys around Dublin.

I find them compulsive viewing. I'm currently watching the brilliant "CBF1000 Heading to work July 18th 2013" (from Kirwan Street to Harcourt Street). Maybe it's to do with seeing your own city on the screen, or the vague feeling of being watched. Or eavesdropping. Sheer nosiness.

Yes, the videos vaguely remind me of the classy 2005 French thriller Caché (Hidden), and what the disappointing 1988 Irish film The Courier might have been.